Americans Actually Haven’t Gained Too Much Weight Since the Quarantine Began

According to a report released today by smart scale maker Withings

Americans Actually Haven’t Gained Too Much Weight Since the Quarantine Began
Erol Ahmed/Unsplash
By Tanner Garrity / May 2, 2020 6:30 am

According to a report released today by digital scale maker Withings, Americans have gained only 0.21 pounds, on average, since the national quarantine began on March 22. Only 37 percent of people in the States have gained more than a pound. In contrast, China, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have all gained at least 0.35 pounds during the global lockdown, with China leading the way at 0.55 pounds.

Withings also tracks personal fitness with wearable watches and health monitors and tacked on a few other interesting observations to its analysis, including: A) Americans have decreased daily steps by a figure of seven percent during the COVID crisis, B) interest in at-home yoga, hiking, indoor cycles and running are up, and C) the country is getting 12 minutes more sleep a night.

It’s worth noting, however, that these figures come ripe with disclaimers: It’s a small sample size, collected over a short period of time (who knows what the figures would look like six months into quarantine), which only assesses data from the type of people who would own smart scales and savvy wearables. But the information is still useful, regardless, as it challenges assumptions about the inevitability of lockdown weight gain.

That’s to say, while Oreo sales are through the roof, and we’ve all watched a week of TV since shelter-at-home began, other factors have probably prevented any real “quarantine 15.” Home-cooked meals are generally healthier than dine-out options, for one. Sleep-disrupting binge drinking is down, with the bars closed. And the lack of a commute has saved certain Americans hours usually spent crammed in the subway, or sitting on the freeway, which makes a consistent exercise routine more manageable.

Over the same time last year, American users gained 0.19 pounds — a near-negligible difference. And those folks had ClassPass. Keep doing what you’re doing, then. Try to lay off the stuff with preservatives and if you’re looking for fitness inspiration, head to our Workout from Home Diaries column.

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